AJ’s Women in Architecture Survey Reveals Discrimination and a Pronounced Pay Gap

Denise Scott-Brown in Las Vegas. Image © Frank Hanswijk

Following a year of high-profile debates surrounding , the results from the Architects’ Journal (AJ) third annual survey entitled Women in Architecture has been revealed. According to the AJ, “two thirds of women in architecture have suffered sexual discrimination at work, an eight point increase since the survey began in 2011″, and “88% of women respondents believe that having children puts women at a disadvantage in architecture.” Even though women in architecture believe that they are paid equally to men, they can in fact “earn as much as £10,000 ($16,500) less than their male counterparts.” More, after the break.

The perceived pay gap is more pronounced in America, with 59% of US based female architects believing they would be paid more if they were male (compared with 34% in the UK). According to a survey by Building Design, the UK and USA rank bottom when it comes to the best countries to be female architect.

With respect to England, the survey found that there is a North-South divide suggesting that “architects in the north suffer even more than those in the south”. The survey also revealed that 20% of female architecture students said that they had experienced bullying at .

The online questionnaire was completed by a total of 926 people (710 women and 216 men), with over 50% being architects and the remaining respondents from a pool of “developers, PRs, consultants, structural engineers, quantity surveyors, academics and students.” According to the AJ, almost a third are based in London, 24% in the rest of England, 8% in Scotland, 1% in Wales, 2% in Northern Ireland, and 4% from the rest of Europe. The number of people completing the survey from the USA increased from 4% in 2013 to 24% this year (though they note that this increase is “likely linked to the impact of Denise Scott Brown’s interview with the AJ last year”).

The Architects’ Journal also recently announced their shortlist for the 2014 Woman Architect of the Year award. Read more about gender and equality amongst female architects here.

References: Architects’ Journal

Cite: Taylor-Foster, James. "AJ’s Women in Architecture Survey Reveals Discrimination and a Pronounced Pay Gap" 15 Jan 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=466237>
  • Steve

    Look, architecture is a competitive field. If there is really a way for a company to get the same quality of ideas at a lower price, they’d hire women almost exclusively, since this article implies that men come at a premium cost for the same product. It’s the same nonsense as the myth about women earning 77% of what men earn for the same work… yet there’s no company who uses that fact to pocket 23% higher profit by hiring only women and no men! It’s utter nonsense. A woman who has a child cannot also be a full time architect, so that fact impacts hiring of women. The same is true in other fields where odd hours are required. If it were men whose bodies incubated the next generation for 9 months and then a period afterwards, it would be men who were the less desirable. Reality is reality, and the tangible world of infrastructure can’t wait on a single person’s biology. Haven’t you all read the Onion article on sexism rampant in nature? http://www.theonion.com/articles/study-finds-sexism-rampant-in-nature,130/

  • Anti

    I think the fact that the previous poster references an Onion article as though it weren’t satire begins to suggest part of the problem.

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